What is Fishing Drag?

What is Fishing Drag

It is difficult for you to catch fish with nets. You have to run a lot to catch the fish, and you get exhausted.

You call your grandpa explaining your problem. He advises you to use fishing drag instead of nets so that you may get over with your issues.

What is a fishing drag? The drag is essentially a couple of contact plates within fishing reels. On the off chance that the fish pulls on the line sufficiently hard, the erosion is survived, and the reel pivots in reverse, allowing the line to out, keeping the line from breaking.

How to set drag, when to set drag, measurement required according to different species; all this and more has been explained below in this article.

Importance of fishing drag

Basically, the drag is used to help battle or deal with the fish without suffering and without engaging the previous fish exhaustion. Drag settings can go from light to hard depending upon fish species, scarf, sort of water, the movement of shaft, etc.

How to Set the Best Drag?

Regardless of what species you may be targeting, you want to set the drag to accommodate the particular behavior, size, and weight of that species. Considering the standard way to properly set the drag is to assess how much resistance is necessary to let the fish run. One should know where to apply the brakes so that spool can be prevented from overrunning and creating a mess. This is a battle (the battle between a fish and an angler), and it’s often won from trial and error. Too much drag and the line will break off; too little and, well, you’ll lose the fish for other reasons.

You’ve projected your line, baited in a fish, got a chomp and set the snare. You’re fully prepared to pull the fish in. Let’s figure out how to set the drag on traditional reels and bait-caster reels.



  1. The least demanding approach to set the drag on a turning reel or spin-cast reel is to initially test it by utilizing your hands to pull on your line straight over the reel.
  2. Tighten the drag on your spinning wheel by turning the front drag adjustment button a few clicks to the right if the line pulls out too easily. If it’s too tight, loosen the drag by turning the crank a few clicks to the left. Closed face spin-cast models usually have a top set roller drag adjustment mechanism.
  3. On the off chance that you don’t feel you can judge the force accurately, a little spring scale can help. For example, the ones utilized in Boca Grips or other fishing gadgets utilized in catching and releasing. Hold your bar at a 45-degree point and hook the weight. For best outcomes, the drag setting should be set where the line holds a third to half of its weight before moving (e.g., a 20-pound line should not to move until the hook holds seven to ten pounds).
  4. It’s smarter to have your drag too loose and battle a fish little longer than to have it too tight and break off a big one.


  1. Setting drag on bait-caster reels follows the same principals as setting drag on conventional reels. The only difference is the location of the drag adjustment mechanism.
  2. On most bait-caster reels, the drag component is star-formed and situated close to the reel. Like different reels, use option to fix the drag and left to relax it.
  3. Suppose you are fishing with braided fishing line rather than monofilament. In that case, you’ll need to test the line by wrapping it a couple of times around the handle of your fishing pliers or a pencil instead of using your uncovered hands to test the drag. Braid will cut directly into your fingers if you pull with an excess of power.


How to use Fishing Drag?

You need to set the drag on a fishing reel before your first cast of the day. Changing it while battling a fish can be troublesome. Likewise, drag fishing gear is commonly not intended to be changed while fishing, so doing so could cause harm.

When you’re ready to set the drag, simply judge how much resistance you want to start with by pulling line off the reel with the drag set to your liking. And keep in mind, there is always time to tighten the drag during the fight with bigger fish, especially saltwater species. In the end, if you break a fish off because the drag was too tight, loosen it. If you break a fish off because the spool overran, tighten it.

What does Max Drag mean in fishing?

The torque equation governs reel drag systems (torque equals force times radius). In reels, the radius is the distance from the centre of the spool to where the line exits.

So how much drag is enough for your style of fishing? For sail-fishing, it might be just 6 pounds at strike and 12 pounds max. For bottom-fishing, it’s maybe 12 pounds at strike and 20 pounds max.

Most anglers don’t even need to go above 25 to 30 pounds of drag. Specifically, the drag setting is dependent on the size of your line and the species you are targeting.

One-quarter or one-third of the line’s breaking strength should be your drag setting at strike. If you are fishing 200-pound braid, that equates to 50 to 65 pounds of drag. In the past few years, anglers are down­sizing to smaller reels and using lighter max drags, instead of relying on better technique and drag smoothness.

On a conventional reel, having too much max drag can jeopardize the usable range between free and strike. Because of the drag cam on a lever drag, a standard reel at lockdown drag (with the drag knob completely tightened) can still be set to 6 or 8 pounds of strike drag. Still, it will go into free-spool too quickly when you back the lever off.

How much drag do you need for Musky?

Look for reels that have a minimum of 12 pounds of drag, 15 pounds of drag is adequate, any more than that is probably a waste of money. Any less than 12 pounds, the reel won’t last very long before it needs repair.

Ratio’s of 6.3:1 works for most bait although you may want to a 5.3:1 ratio with a power handle for big bladed baits such as double cowgirls or big rubber baits.

Open face reels do not give adequate lure control needed for muskie fishing, and they are not typically used.

How much drag do you need for Yellowtail?

We recommend using 20-30 Lb monofilament when targeting Yellowtail. If you are using live bait using the “Fly lining” technique, we recommend going on the lighter side. It lets your bait swim more freely and naturally with less drag.  If you are fishing dead bait for Yellowtail, there is no reason why you shouldn’t use up to 30 LB mono.

How much drag do you need for Pike?

Having a drag system with a maximum drag of at least 15 pounds will help you land just about any pike that comes your way. When trolling for Pike, we like to use reels that have a maximum drag of at least 25 pounds.

How much drag do you need for Tuna?

The “general” rule is to set the reel’s drag to 1/3rd of the line’s breaking strength. So if the reel is spooled with 50lbs mono, set the drag for 15lbs for the fight. What you want on the troll is to have the drag set to just hold the bait/lure in the spread without slipping, not so tight that you pull the hook on the set. With a star drag reel like the 114H, it’ll take a little effort on your part to determine where that is and where 1/3rd is.

How much drag do you need for Wahoo?

The braid makes the lines very difficult to handle when deploying and retrieving heavy trolling weights and lures.  It is good practice to mark your lines at 150, 200, 250, and 300 to take all guesswork out of setting the lines. Doing this will make it almost impossible to tangle your lines while zigzag trolling along the edge.

This article must have given you enough knowledge to make you good to go about fishing drags. If you still have any queries do visit your site and get your desired answers.

Steve Hudson

I have been an outdoor activities enthusiast from teenage. I have been going out with my parents on different outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. After moving to a town surrounded by three well known fishing spots, I started fishing and started using all kinds of tricks and equipment to make the most out of each adventure I pursued. Over the years I have been camping outdoor, hiking and following my passion of enjoying life at full. Few years ago, I started writing about my thoughts, experiments and ideas about outdoor, fishing, hiking and more. This blog is a compilation of that plus tips, ideas and products that can make life more meaningful, enjoyable and a pleasant.

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